Can Motorcycle Riders Share Liability in a Left-Turn Collision?

Posted on behalf of RizkLaw on Aug 26, 2019 in Auto Accident

motorcycle at intersectionWhen a car crashes into a motorcycle while making a left turn, the driver of the car is often the one at fault. However, determining fault after this type of accident is not always easy. In some situations, the motorcycle rider is partially to blame.

If the rider is partially at fault, it could affect the amount of compensation he or she may be eligible to receive. This is significant because motorcycle riders often suffer severe injuries in left-turn collisions with cars.

We recommend having one of our experienced Portland motorcycle accident lawyers review your claim to discuss fault for your accident and your possible legal options. The consultation is completely free of charge and there is no obligation to take legal action.

Why Left-Turn Accidents Are Often Deadly for Motorcycle Riders

This type of car versus motorcycle accident happens when a car turns left in front of a motorcyclist who is already traveling through the intersection.

These accidents are often fatal for motorcycle riders. Even if both vehicles are not moving particularly fast, the impact can throw the rider off the bike, causing catastrophic injuries, particularly if the rider was not wearing a helmet.

Who May Be Liable in a Left-Hand Turn Accident?

Typically, the driver making a left turn is found liable for the accident because traffic laws require drivers to wait until they have enough time to make it through the intersection before any oncoming vehicles.

However, there are exceptions when the motorist turning left may not be fully responsible for the accident. The motorcycle rider might be found partially liable if he or she operated the motorcycle in a careless manner. For example, the rider may have been in the wrong lane, speeding or running a red light.

Even if the injured motorcyclist shares some liability for the accident, he or she may still be able to file a claim against the other driver. However, because of Oregon’s modified comparative negligence law, your compensation award may be reduced by your percentage of fault. For example, if you were traveling a few miles over the speed limit and were found to be 10 percent at fault, your final compensation award would be reduced by 10 percent.


Reducing Your Risk of a Left-Turn Collision

You can help lower your risk of a left-turn collision by following these defensive-driving tips, whether you are making a left turn or going straight through an intersection:

 For the turning vehicle:

  • Look for any oncoming traffic before turning left
  • Avoid turning left if it is not safe to do so
  • If a vehicle is approaching the intersection, do not speed to outrun it

 For the vehicle driving through the intersection:

  • When approaching an intersection, be aware of vehicles in the turn lane
  • Look at the driver’s front tires to see if they are already turned
  • Wear bright or reflective clothing to enhance your visibility to other motorists on the road
  • Drive defensively when approaching an intersection
  • Use headlights at all times
  • Drive at a safe speed

Why Hiring an Experienced Attorney is a Good Idea

If you were involved in a left-turn motorcycle accident, hiring an experienced Portland attorney can be an important part of the recovery process. The knowledgeable legal team at Rizk Law understands the many factors that go into determining fault for a crash. We do not charge upfront fees, and the initial consultation to discuss your legal options is free.